This April we were asked by Martin one of our volunteers if we could grow mangolds at the farm. We welcome ideas from our volunteers and this idea like the mangold grew and grew. Martin suggested a mangold hurling competition just after harvest.
Mangold hurling has been a tradition in England for centuries so we thought it was time to bring it back to the farm with our own UK championship to raise awareness for a crop that is a great feed for animals and easy to grow
Some fodder beet (mangold) facts in German they are called Futterrübe, Dutch its oederbiet. They are okay left in the ground but temperatures of - 5°C or lower will damage them. Best harvested and kept in a clamp. You can produce around 24 tonnes per acre and are amongst the largest consumers of CO2; they also release the highest amounts of O2.
SO on 20 October 2019 we held the mangold hurling championship.
The day before our willow (one of our mangolds maidens) picked the largest mangold, our target mangold called a norman. Our fair maiden then bathed and brushed the large mangold (norman) with her special waters.
On the day our young people, dotty club pulled our wagon with the maiden queen sat on top with the norman mangold.
In the morning the mangolds are harvester by pulling by the leaves led by the master of the mangolds called Lobber. The wagon is then pulled back to the yard ready for the contestants .
In the afternoon the dancing maidens lead the wagon with the mangold queen sat on it with the contestants pulling the wagon.
Once in the arena the norman is placed on its willow basket while the Lobber reads out the rules. The mangold song is sang to the music of green sleeves and a battle cry is read out from Henry V as the contestants give a mass hurl to start the competition.
The objective is to throw the norman on to the pitch a suitable distance. You then throw your mangold by holding the leaves to get as close to the norman as possible. To find the winner the willow uses her stick to see who is closest with distance measured from the root end. Numerous rounds are carried out and each winner (up to six) go into the final.
The six finalist play knockout and each round the furthest away drops out until two are left for the final hurl. Then in a best of three the winner is found to be the Mangold King or in our event Queen. In tradition the Mangold Kind wins the maiden but in our version it was a bottle of wine.
It was a great first event and £121 raised for the charity.
Next years mangolds hurling event will be on the 4 October. If you would help grow mangolds and other crops at the farm please get in touch.
Of course the mangolds will be used as feed for the animals and in some cases for the volunteers.